Playbill Viewing: The Wooster Group's 2002 To You, the Birdie!

Film & TV Features   Playbill Viewing: The Wooster Group's 2002 To You, the Birdie!
 
The Off-Broadway adaptation of Phedre is available on Vimeo through March 30.
The cast of <i>To You, the Birdie</i>
The cast of To You, the Birdie

A reworking of Racine's Phedre, The Wooster Group's 2002 production To You, The Birdie!, is in keeping with the company's wildly kinetic adaptations that can stray far from what typically constitutes a play revival. It was billed as "a soap opera of confessions and confrontations set against a torrid backdrop of Christian and Greek mythology." (The new title derives from something the French would say during a game such as badminton.)

Paul Schmidt did the translation of Phedre, about a young man spurning advances from his stepmother, and the cast in the video includes Scott Shepherd (Theramenes), Sheena See (Oenone), Kate Valk (Phedre), Dominique Bousquet (Marker 4), Roy Faudrey (Theseus), Ari Fliakos (Hippolytos), Fiona Leaning (Venus/Referee), Koosil-ja Hwang (Marker 7), and Suzzy Roche (Video Veus) under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte.

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Now audiences have until March 30 to watch the production on Vimeo, where The Wooster Group has posted it. To support the theatre company, consider making a donation.

Designing the piece are Jim Findley (set), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), Philip Bussmann (video) and Elizabeth Jenyon (costumes). David Linton will provide original music.

In 2000, assistant director Kimmel told Playbill the show would have "a very American vernacular, stripped to the guts. It's poetic but not rhyming verse. We're toying around with badminton and ping-pong, lots of racquet sports. David Linton is working on music for the show, while also Kate [Valk] has been working with Suzzy Roche and Koosil-ja Hawang coming up with girl-band type rock songs. Yes, Phedre sings..."

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